Black Knight

Black Knight.jpg
Black Knight
Production information
Manufacturer Kong Interstellar Corporation, Robinson Standard BattleWorks
Production Year 2578[1]
Model BL-6-KNT
Class Heavy
Cost 7,136,938 C-bills
Technical specifications
Tech Base Inner Sphere
Mass 75 tons
Chassis Technicron 1L Endo Steel
Armor Numall DuraBond
Engine Vlar 300
Communications System TransComm Alpha
Targeting Tracking System TransComm Beta w/Beagle Active Probe
Heat Sinks 20
Speed 64.8 km/h
Armament
BV (1.0) 1,191[2]
BV (2.0) 1,550[3]
This article is about the Black Knight BattleMech. For the computer game, see MechWarrior IV#MechWarrior IV: Black Knight Expansion Pack and MechWarrior IV: Black Knight.


Description[edit]

The Black Knight was introduced in 2578 both as a front-line combatant and as a command BattleMech at the company and battalion level for the Star League Defense Force. Its advanced communications gear allowed the Black Knight to effortlessly coordinate an entire company of 'Mechs simultaneously, could easily link together the command frequencies of an entire parent regiment and connect with orbital support satellites. Advanced building materials gave the Black Knight a light but strong chassis able to carry more weapons and armor for less weight. Given the type and amount of firepower the 'Mech carries the only issue facing the Black Knight is heat management.[4][5]

The Black Knight first debuted in the Reunification War when they were fielded by the 3rd Heavy Assault Regiment in combat with the Taurian Concordat; following its success it was soon adopted by I Corps and the rest of the SLDF. When the Star League collapsed, Kong Interstellar continued producing Black Knights until their Connaught orbital factory was destroyed in 2802. In 2809, Kong was able to restart their production line, but was no longer capable of producing many of the more advanced components found in the Black Knight. As a result, Kong was forced to design a downgraded version, the BL-7-KNT. Finally the Black Knight production line was permanently destroyed in a raid by the Capellan Confederation in 2820, reducing the company to producing low-grade spare parts and performing maintenance.[3][6]

During the Succession Wars many Black Knights fell into the hands of the Great Houses, although as the years progressed they were increasingly forced to repair them with inferior components and their numbers slowly decreased. Some were modified with a number of non-standard components such as jump jets but few if any survived into the Thirty-first century. ComStar's stockpiles of Star League 'Mechs included the Black Knight, which they found to be an excellent command unit for Level II and Level III units when the Com Guards were formed, but the very few Black Knights gifted to the Draconis Combine during Operation Rosebud was apparently the result of a clerical error. For their part the Clans maintained the Black Knight, although by the time of the Clan Invasion it was reserved for solahma units.[3][6]

The Black Knight was one of several Clanbusters put together by ComStar leading up to the Battle of Tukayyid, and in the 3063 Robinson Standard BattleWorks secured a license from Kong Interstellar to build a new variant, the BL-12-KNT. Two years later KIC finished rebuilding their plant and began producing Black Knights of their own.[3]

Weapons and Equipment[edit]

The Black Knight is an all energy weapon 'Mech, with a Magna Hellstar II PPC in the right arm serving as its primary weapon. Backing up the PPC are two McCorkel Large Lasers in either side torso that can inflict a great deal of damage as the Black Knight closes with its enemy. Finally, for close range fighting, the 'Mech employs four Maxell DT Medium Lasers, one in either arm and in either side torso and a single Magna Small Laser in the head. The small laser in particular is directly tied-in to the Beagle Active Probe mounted in the center torso, allowing the scanner to piggy-back a low-power laser pulse to travel through any interfering objects. While allowing for a more detailed analysis of objects the limited range of the laser reserves this type of scanning only for nearby targets.[4]

Thirteen tons of armor protection on an Endo Steel frame also allows the Black Knight to stand up to a great deal of punishment. The main drawback of the design is its use of single heat sinks, though the fact it mounts twenty of them means the Black Knight is still able to dissipate a great deal of the heat produced by its weapons. However, if the 'Mech finds itself in a protracted combat situation, a less experienced MechWarrior unskilled at heat management can find themselves in trouble.[5][6]

Variants[edit]

  • BL-6-RR 
    This experimental version introduced in 3057 makes use of Clan-grade weaponry. The standard medium lasers and PPC of the BL-6-KNT are swapped for Clan versions of ER Medium Lasers and ER PPC. The lighter particle cannon allows an additional single heat sink to be added. BV (2.0) = 1,954[7]
  • BL-7-KNT 
    The BL-7 Black Knight is the downgraded version of the 'Mech produced during the Succession Wars following the destruction of Kong Interstellar Corporation's factories on Connaught in 2802. Production of the BL-7-KNT began in 2809 and continued until the CCAF destroyed the plant in 2820; thereafter many of the repairs made by the Great Houses to their own Black Knights in many ways mimicked Kong's version. The Endo Steel chassis was replaced with a Technicron Standard chassis which, while keeping the weapons payload and engine the same, required a reduction in overall armor protection by two tons. While the same weapon types was retained, the McCorkel, Maxell and Magna lasers were replaced with their respective Tronel III, II and I models. Kong Interstellar also replaced the communications system with the Tek BattleCom system and the targeting and tracking systems with a Tek Tru-Trak system.[9] BV (1.0) = 1,106[10], BV (2.0) = 1,443[11]
  • BL-7-KNT-L 
    This is a field modification from the Free Worlds League during the Succession Wars. Because of the scarcity of PPCs within that realm Black Knights with a damaged PPC would have that weapon replaced with a large laser, while the extra space and weight left over allowed for two additional heat sinks to be added. BV (2.0) = 1,409[12]
  • BL-9-KNT 
    One of the so-called "Clanbuster" refits developed by ComStar in the lead-up to the Battle of Tukayyid, this variant has been equipped with an Vlar 300 XL Engine, allowing it to mount an upgraded and heavier weapons load. The PPC was upgraded to an Magna Sunspot ER PPC, the medium lasers switched to Aberdovey Medium Pulse Lasers, a Aberdovey Large Pulse Laser added to the center torso, and both the small laser and Beagle Active Probe were removed. To handle the heavier heat load, the heat sinks were upgraded to double strength versions. In addition, for close-in work, the Black Knight carries long-sword shaped 5-ton Hatchet in its left hand, allowing it to make devastating physical attacks. [13] BV (1.0) = 1,222[10], BV (2.0) = 1,678
  • BL-12-KNT 
    The BL-12 was probably the most technologically advanced version of the Black Knight leading up to the Jihad. While still based on the original BL-6 model this design goes in a completely different direction from the BL-9. Introduced in 3063 the first thing that was done to the BL-12 was the upgrade of all of the medium lasers and the PPC to extended range versions, then its single heat sinks were upgraded to double strength versions, reducing the total number from twenty to sixteen. Finally, all of the weapons were mated to a Targeting Computer. BV (1.0) = 1,450[14], BV (2.0) = 1,840[8]
  • BLK-NT-2Y 
    Another Dark Age version of the Black Knight, the -2Y is equipped with an XL Engine that drives it to 54km/h. The weight freed by the XL engine is used to add a Beagle Active Probe, Guardian ECM Suite, and C3 Slave unit. It has thirteen and a half tons of armor to protect an Endo-Composite skeleton. It is also equipped with a Targeting Computer, and a Medium Shield is carried on the right arm. Offensively, it mounts a PPC, two large lasers, and three medium lasers. All equipment is of Inner Sphere quality. BV (2.0)=1,847[17][18]
  • BLK-NT-3A 
    This version was also introduced during the Dark Age. It uses the Endo-Composite structure of the other models and is protected by the same thirteen and a half tons of armor, but has a larger XL engine that gives it a top speed of 64km/h. It also carries a Medium Shield on the right arm, and its weapon array consists of a pair of ER Large Lasers, four ER Medium Lasers, and a pair of ER Small Lasers. It also carries a single Flamer for anti-infantry work. It lacks the electronics of other versions, and carries nineteen double heat sinks. Again, all equipment is of Inner Sphere manufacture. BV(2.0)=1,707[19][20]
  • BLK-NT-3B 
    This version uses the same Endo-Composite skeleton and XL Engine of the 3A variant above. Its weapons array has been modified however. Keeping the right arm mounted Medium Shield, this variant carries twin ER PPCs, two ER Small Lasers, twin Small Pulse Lasers, and a pair of Small Lasers. This version has also been equipped with seventeen double heat sinks. For increased speed and strength, the 3B version uses Triple Strength Myomer. BV (2.0)=1,911[21][22]
  • BLK-NT-4D 
    This version is equipped with an ER PPC, two ER Medium Pulse Lasers, two ER small lasers, and two small pulse lasers, all made to Clan specifications. This Black Knight also carries a Plasma Rifle in each arm, which use three tons of ammunition. The Medium Shield and thirteen and a half tons of armor protect the Endo-Composite structure. An Angel ECM Suite provides electronic warfare support, and eighteen Clan-spec double heat sinks keep the 'Mech running cool. Its max speed is 54km/h. BV (2.0)=2,280[23][24]

Custom Variants[edit]

  • BL-6-KNT Black Knight Ian 
    Downgraded during the technological decline of the Succession Wars era, the personal 'Mech of the McKinnon family was selected to receive among the first experimental weapons developed from the Helm Memory Core by the New Avalon Institute of Science, thanks to the exploits of Fox's Teeth commander Ian McKinnon. When piloted by Ian during the War of 3039, the 'Mech was clad in prototype Ferro-Fibrous armor and the standard heat sinks outside the engine were replaced with corrosive 3039-era double heat sinks. These weight savings, along with the removal of the head-mounted small laser, allowed the 'Mech to carry a Hatchet whose damage was boosted by the addition of Triple Strength Myomers[25]. BV (2.0) = 1,830[26]
  • BL-10-KNT Black Knight Ross 
    Given to Ross McKinnon upon his father's retirement in 3051, the family 'Mech continued to be upgraded with the latest technology. By the FedCom Civil War the right arm and torso weaponry of Ross's 'Mech was upgraded to extended range models, with the triple strength myomers and hatchet retained. The use of production grade Ferro-Fibrous and double heat sinks, along with downgrading the large lasers to medium pulse lasers and the left arm medium for an ER Small Laser, freed up enough weight for a Targeting Computer to be added[27]. BV (2.0) = 2,072[28]
  • BL-X-KNT Black Knight "Red Reaper" 
    Based on a BL-9-KNT chassis, this personal ride of Reginald VanJester was created during the Word of Blake's occupation of Solaris. The standard weaponry was removed and replaced with a Large Shield and Large Vibroblade for hand to hand combat, while five Medium X-Pulse Lasers inflict huge amounts of damage in close quarter combat. For long range firepower, a single Heavy PPC paired with a PPC Capacitor are used. The whole 'Mech is protected by thirteen tons of Light Ferro-Fibrous armor. Fifteen double heat sinks are available to dissipate heat.[29] BV (2.0) = 1,858[30]

Design Quirks[edit]

The BL-X-KNT Black Knight "Red Reaper" variant is subject to the following Design Quirks:[29]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. MUL online date for the Black Knight
  2. Combat Operations, p. 106
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 213
  4. 4.0 4.1 Technical Readout: 2750, p. 46-47
  5. 5.0 5.1 Technical Readout: 3025 Revised, p. 90-91
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Technical Readout: 3039, p. 270-271
  7. Record Sheets: 3050 Unabridged Clan & Star League, p. 287
  8. 8.0 8.1 Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 71
  9. Technical Readout: 3039, p. 270, "BL-7-KNT Black Knight"
  10. 10.0 10.1 Combat Operations, p.123
  11. Record Sheets: 3039, p. 157
  12. Record Sheets: 3039, p. 158
  13. Tukayyid, pp. 12-13
  14. Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 125
  15. Technical Readout: 3145 Federated Suns, p. 45
  16. Record Sheets: 3145 Unabridged, p. 211
  17. Technical Readout: 3145 Federated Suns, p. 92
  18. Record Sheets: 3145 Unabridged, p. 207
  19. Technical Readout: 3145 Federated Suns, p. 93
  20. Record Sheets: 3145 Unabridged, p. 208
  21. Technical Readout: 3145 Federated Suns, p. 94
  22. Record Sheets: 3145 Unabridged, p. 209
  23. Technical Readout: 3145 Federated Suns, p. 95
  24. Record Sheets: 3145 Unabridged, p. 210
  25. Starterbook: Sword and Dragon, p. 20, 101
  26. Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 72
  27. Starterbook: Sword and Dragon, p. 111
  28. MUL online BV
  29. 29.0 29.1 Experimental Technical Readout: Most Wanted, p. 5
  30. Experimental Technical Readout: Most Wanted, p. 18

Bibliography[edit]